There are certain things I know I should do, but I don’t. Eat more broccoli for instance, vacuum out my car, or take my kids to the museum. If I think too much about the things I don’t do, it undermines my self-esteem, and I end up feeling like crap.
Clipping coupons is a perfect example of this. A few months ago, I saw a TV show called Extreme Couponing. On this show, a mom saved her coupons for nine months and then went to Wal-Mart and bought $879 worth of Gatorade for $1.27 (this is an almost-totally-accurate estimate). Then, the camera crew filmed her stockpile, a bizarre basement room where she stored hundreds of products in alphabetical order.
This woman had like four hundred rolls of paper towels stored next to eighty-seven gallons of peanut butter, and for the thousands of dollars worth of goods in her storage room, she paid like forty-two cents.
After watching this show, I felt supremely inadequate and realized how much money I wasted at the market. I signed up for some online coupons and spent about four minutes searching through a local coupon book, then I promptly went back to my regular grocery shopping method, which is to throw as much food in the shopping cart as possible in fifteen minutes, rush to pick up Ella at pre-school, and hope I didn’t forget the bananas.
I am not proud of the fact that I never used the online coupons, but, in the end, I decided I didn’t really need fifty-eight boxes of saltines or a ten-year supply of toilent paper. Perhaps, instead of beating myself up over the coupons, I should just vacuum out my car. Or, I could eat brownies, which always makes me feel better.